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A Complete Guide To Funeral Loans

Matt Cardwell7-Minute Read
UPDATED: July 26, 2023


After losing a loved one, you may find yourself in the position of paying for unplanned funeral expenses. Depending on the location and services of the ceremony, funerals can cost thousands of dollars.

If you don’t have the funds available to carry out your loved one’s burial wishes, you may consider taking out a funeral loan to cover the costs. Let’s take a look at how funeral loans work, and how they can help family members ease the financial burden during their time of need.

What Is A Funeral Loan?

A funeral loan is a personal loan that’s used to cover funeral-related expenses. Since this type of unsecured loan is available for any major expense or investment, it can be used to cover everything from the viewing and memorial costs to the service fees.

Personal loan rates and terms are determined based on the applicant’s creditworthiness, meaning that borrowers with higher credit scores will likely get lower interest rates. Once you’re approved for a personal loan for the funeral, you’ll receive the lump sum payment within a few business days. The quick loan turnaround is especially helpful when quickly planning a wake or funeral reception.

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How Much Do Funeral Expenses Cost?

When deciding how to pay for funeral expenses, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how much the funeral or memorial service will cost. Keep in mind that prices vary based on the funeral home, location and services provided.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, these are the most common costs you’ll encounter when planning a funeral:

  • Metal burial casket: $2,500
  • Funeral service fee: $2,195
  • Vault: $1,495
  • Embalming: $750
  • Use of facilities and staff for funeral: $500
  • Use of facilities and staff for viewing: $425
  • Transportation: $350
  • Hearse: $340
  • Cosmetic preparations: $255
  • Printed materials: $175
  • Service car or van: $150

The Pros And Cons Of Funeral Loans

Now that we know what a funeral loan is, let’s dig into the pros and cons of this payment method. Always consider your personal budget and finances when deciding whether or not to use loans for funeral expenses.

The Pros Of Funeral Loans

  • Fast funding. If the funeral date is quickly approaching, the last thing you want to worry about is whether the loan funding will be approved in time. Luckily, qualified borrowers will receive their loan amount within a few business days of being approved. In fact, Rocket Loans® even offers same-day funding to borrowers who need their money fast.*
  • Installment payments. Since personal loans are a type of installment loan, you will repay the money owed in equal monthly payments for the life of the loan. That way, you can make payments on the funeral loan over time, instead of financing the service upfront.
  • Less of a financial burden. The death of a loved one can be both emotionally and financially overwhelming. If you’re struggling to finance a funeral service, taking out a personal loan can help relieve the immediate financial stress and allow you to focus on celebrating the life of your loved one.

The Cons Of Funeral Loans

  • Additional financial stress. If your financial status is making it difficult to pay for funeral costs, adding more debt to your plate may not be the best idea. Although carrying out the wishes of a loved one is an important duty, it’s also necessary to consider how taking out a personal loan will affect your monthly and long-term finances.
  • Personal liability for costs. Personal loans are just that – personal. Instead of potentially splitting the costs between several family members or friends of the deceased, you will be solely responsible for the funeral expenses.
  • You need a good credit score to qualify. In order to qualify for favorable loan terms and interest rates, you’ll need a good credit score of 650 or above, or else you risk receiving a high interest rate that doesn’t make the loan financially viable.

Alternative Methods Of Funeral Financing

If you’re unsure whether to move forward with a funeral loan, you can also consider these alternative financing methods.

In-House Funeral Financing

Depending on the funeral home, you may be able to apply for in-house financing to cover the cost of the funeral and memorial service. Instead of borrowing money through a bank, credit union or online lender, you can choose to opt-in to the funeral home’s payment program and repay them directly.

Funeral homes that offer financing packages typically require that the service is repaid within 6 to 12 months, but the repayment period varies based on company policy. If you’re interested in using the funeral home’s payment plan, talk with the funeral director to discuss interest rates and repayment schedules.

Zero-Interest Credit Card

Depending on your credit history, you have the option to use a zero-interest credit card to pay for funeral expenses. If you qualify for a credit card with a 0% interest rate, you can charge the funeral costs to the card, and then repay the amount before the promotional period ends.

This is an affordable option for people who want to spread out the funeral payments, but don’t want to take out a loan. However, keep in mind that once the initial promotional period ends, you will have to pay interest on the remaining balance.

How To Get A Funeral Loan

If you’ve decided that a funeral loan is the best option for you, be sure to take these prerequisite steps before signing on the dotted line. Here’s how to get a personal loan for a funeral:

  • Secure your credit. No matter how you’re intending to spend your personal loan, you want to submit the best credit score and history possible. Before applying, check your credit report for errors, and correct them right away.
  • Get quotes from other lenders. If possible, take the time to shop around for quotes from multiple lenders. This step can be difficult if you’re rushing to plan a funeral, but it will help ensure that you’re getting the best loan terms and interest rate possible.
  • Apply for prequalification. After you’ve narrowed down your lending options, apply for prequalification to view the terms you’d receive from each lender. Remember that applying for prequalification will typically not affect your credit score.

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling to pay for a funeral to celebrate your loved one, you’re not alone. The cost of funeral and memorial services have risen significantly over the past decade, and it can be difficult to afford unexpected funeral costs. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider your funeral financing options, including personal loans, funeral home financing and zero-interest credit cards.

Same Day Funding available for clients completing the loan process and signing the Promissory Note by 1:00PM ET on a business day. Also note, the ACH credit will be submitted to your bank the same business day. This may result in same day funding, but results may vary and your bank may have rules that limit our ability to credit your account. We are not responsible for delays which may occur due to incorrect routing number, account number, or errors of your financial institution.

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Matt Cardwell

Matt Cardwell is Editor-in-Chief and leads the Rocket Publishing House at Rocket Mortgage. During his nearly 15 years with Rocket Mortgage, Matt has occupied a diverse array of Marketing leadership roles, including leading and growing the company’s early digital and internet marketing efforts; Vice President of Marketing; Director of Social Media and Director of Business Channel Strategy.